Using the "Five Ws" to have a great website

August 23, 2018

In the day and age where we use the internet, it is more important than ever to answer audience questions. As we rely more on the internet as a primary means of communicating with our audience, it is essential to address every possible question a reader may have. At Cube Creative Design, we advise our clients on pages that they should include on their website. Typically, these pages address some variation of the "Five Ws" - Who, What, When, Where and Why (and sometimes How). The "Five Ws" are used by a number of professions from journalist, scholarly researchers and police investigators. Why not put them to use on your website!

Who

This is usually your About Us page where most people talk about themselves. Warning: that is exactly what you should not do!

Here is what you need to include:

  • State what you do and who you do it for.
  • Explain how you can solve their problems. Do you use your years of experience, specific skills training, or lessons from the School of Hard Knocks? Focus on what you can do for them.
  • Testimonials from other customers are great to include. People love social proof! Just be sure the testimonials are from real people. Just like a bad stock photograph, people can spot a fake testimonial from a mile away.
  • Don't swipe a testimonial from other websites, such as Google, Yelp or TripAdvisor. Google will come down on you hard for that.
  • Ask for permission from your customers to use their testimonials, including their name and company name. If they are giving you a testimonial, then they won't mind.
  • Include a Call To Action (CTA) guiding readers to what you want them to do next.

What

Your home page usually explains what do you do or how you are different.

  • What do you sell? Widgets tell me you sell widgets. You do residential HVAC repair and installation, tell me! Do this with a graphic, video or a few images in a slideshow with a small amount of text.
  • You also need to tell me how you can help me. If you are a Security System installer and service provider tell me how your product will help me.
  • Without giving away the keys to the kingdom tell me how you do it. How is your security system going to help protect my home.
  • Tell me how you are different than the competition with out bashing the them or mentioning them by name. If you mention them by name then you are telling your potential client to go check them out.
  • Again try to include a testimonial or a case study. People want to see how you have helped others with their problem or a similar problem. Not to mention that it says that you know what you are doing, the proof is in the pudding.
  • Some sort of CTA, three to five buttons or action items are best.

Where

If location is key to your business then give the viewer a page with a Google Map of how to get to your location. You don't want to make the viewer struggle to find information.

When

Let me know when you are open if this is part of your core business. If you are an eCommerce then the hours might not be as important.

How

Your how should be on every page through the use of the CTA, how do they contact you. How do they get to your shop.

 Here are a few other things you should think about when creating pages and content for your site:

  • Give an overview of what it is like to work with you. Link out to separate pages if necessary.
  • Give the viewer a way to put you into a predetermined category of what you do.
  • Include a page or pages about your services or the solution you provide. But this shouldn't be a laundry list of what you do.

The bottom line is that you need to treat each viewer like the CEO of a major corporation. The viewer doesn't have time to read your Faulkner like description of your services. Nor should it read like the descriptions in a J. Peterson catalog.

Keep things simple and in consistent locations. Much like if you are behind the wheel of the car you know where the brakes are, the horn, and turn signals. You might not need them right away but you know where to look when you do. Your CTA's are good examples of this as they should always be front and center but yet only there if you need them.

Let's Chat About Your Web Design Project!

Adam Bennett

Written by:

Adam is the president and founder of Cube Creative Design. Since starting the business in 2005, he has created individual relationships with clients in Western North Carolina. He places great value on the needs, expectations, and goals of the client.

www.linkedin.com/in/cubecreative/